Cambridge Analytica used violent video to influence Nigeria election in 2015: Report
After the US, UK and India, it's the turn for Nigeria. A video which reached the members of parliament of Britain recently has revealed how Cambridge Analytica (CA) tried to influence the Nigerian presidential election in 2015 by using graphically gory imagery to present a candidate as a supporter of Sharia law who would crush dissent and compromise with Islamic militants.
The Guardian reported on Wednesday, April 4, about it receiving the video which has the violent scenes from the past. CA whistleblower Christopher Wylie, while speaking to the digital, culture, media and sport select committee last week, conceded that the video was distributed in Nigeria to intimidate the voters.
The video contained horrible images of people getting dismembered and burned alive to show Islam in a negative light. According to Wylie, CA asked AgreegateIQ, the Canadian digital services firm that worked for the Leave campaign during Britain's EU referendum, to target the electorate with the video during the north-western African country's presidential election three years ago. All Progressive Congress's Muhammadu Buhari defeated incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in what was dubbed as the most expensive election in the African content.
Wylie, a former employee of CA, handed the video to the MPs himself. He said the "violent, divisive Islamophobic material should be nowhere near an election campaign".
It is said that CA was asked to run a campaign in favour of Jonathan by a Nigerian billionaire to defeat his Muslim opponent Buhari but eventually the latter won. It was however not confirmed whether Jonathan had the knowledge about things as they happened.
Nigeria govt probes
It was also claimed that CA's parent company Strategic Communication Laboratories, too, tried to influence the 2007 election in Nigeria by trying to dissuade the Opposition supporters from casting ballots. The Nigerian government has formed a committee to probe this incident as well as the allegations that President Buhari's data were hacked in the 2015 election.